Tuesday, September 30, 2014

tcb and etc

if you are from memphis (or lived there long enough to feel like that's the case (like me) then you know what i'm talkin' about with this mug.

hell yes, i am taking care of business. (read:  i am making another part of leff's ever complicated cake.) for this, i need 1) proper music

2) a lot of witch boats 

3) and for the yolk to be on no one.

you guys, this cake is very strange. there's a lot of whisking (this is my go to whisking song.) and then adding yolks and sugar.

and the flour has a lot of starch??? idk, the batter tasted good and clouseau was all "that's all right any way you do".

you can take the cat out of memphis but you can't the memphis out of the cat, amirite. (sorite.)

Monday, September 29, 2014

marzipan monday

leff's bday cake this year is complicated. no complaints though! it's a cake that i've always wanted to make but couldn't justify if it was only for me (expense, time investment, calories). it involves a marzipan layer! marzipan!

want to know a secret? marzipan is simple to make. here is the site that i used which had not only a fantastic history of marzipan but also a great recipe. seriously, make your own marzipan. you can even do it by marzihand, um, you know, without a food processor.

wet ingred are almond extract (which i could not stop sniffing.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) rose water and egg white. i put my egg yolk in an old gelato container. you're thrilled. (i am, i will probably have it for lunch.)

also, i didn't use rose water (didn't have it/wasn't prime shipping)  but subbed an extra tsp of almond extract (which smelled great, btw).

the result was a loaf of marzipan! i was very excited about this even though it looks a little glum and not glamorous in this picture.

ah, that's better. much more marziglam.

check back later this week to see how this gets incorporated into a cake. it's sure to be a stupendous failure. bwahaha

Sunday, September 28, 2014

smažený sýr on wenceslas day

september 28 is saint wenceslas day/svatý václav day in the czech republic. leff and i celebrated by making smažený sýr. not because it has anything to do with the saint's day, no, we're probably being all kinds of disrespectful (apologies if it's the case) but it's one of the things that we weren't able to eat when we were in prague earlier this year.

they have these sandwiches in prague that you can get at sidewalk kiosks that are composed of this fried cheese plus mayo on bread. FRIED CHEESE AND MAYO ON BREAD.

leff made one of these sandwiches and, when not laughing from the sheer deliciousness, he stated "there's a reason that they sell these."

so happy wenceslas/svatý václav day!

make some smažený sýr! god, it is so amazingly good. (*so* much better than febo!) 

supplies for a big week

head's up! i'm about to abuse your feedreaders! there's a lot going on this week and i'm planning on posting about most of it. i mean, i didn't order 60 eggs

and a dozen flowers for nothing. (trust me. flowers, not ever my thing. it comes from having worked for a couple of florists. you kinda' get over flowers after that.)

most of it (car)henges on leff's bday on friday.

go on! start wishing him a happy bday now! if you do, he'll be just as happy as this little green guy!

many posts upcoming! possibly even one more this afternoon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

thatcher and bowie (with a mitford thrown in for good measure)

last night i got around to reading hilary mantel's new thatcher short story. i am no fan of thatcher, as you will perhaps recall from these cookies that i made in 2012

but i didn't expect to dream about mantel's fictional assassination. damn. looks like i will get around to finishing wolf hall soon.

in lighter news, yesterday was david bowie day in chicago. kicking myself for not being there (and for missing the travelling exhibit every place it's been so far). since i'm linking to old work today, here's the appropriate bowie cookie. (do click that bowie stereogum link. rahmbo's in aladdin sane makeup.it's glorious.)

and, sadly, debo mitford, the last mitford sister, died today. which means i will also be adding mitford sister letters, bios and books to my reading list. (this is never a bad thing to do. the wit! THE WIT!!) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

it is hot chocolate weather

it is also merchant ivory (specifically "room with a view") weather. okok, anything that is set in italy weather. "italy unpacked", even. i am not picky. it all goes so well with burnt marshmallows and spicy, spicy hot cocoa.

what else is good? season two of "sleepy hollow" *that* is what is good. that female gaze episode of "outlander" was also good. so, so good.

book wise, hellooooooo the paying guests! also, that marvelous daphne du maurier post made me finally see the light. i had been actively avoiding rebecca since the 80's because of that horrid jackie collins style cover it had then. silly me. it's now one of my favorite books. (gonna' add it to my shelf next to we have always lived in the castle.)

the rest of this week i will continue on my du maurier kick and probably squeeze in a mary beard book if time allows.

looks like i'm going to need a lot more hot chocolate.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


we are going to be glued to the tv tonight watching scottish referendum results roll in. 

if you'd also like to see the possible end of the united kingdom and the birth of a new scotland (who can tell right now! it's too close to call at the time of writing!) the guardian is live blogging. additionally, sky news has a live feed. there is also this.

i'll be posting our "scottish" dinner later on tonight. what will it be? ah, not haggis. no. nope. no way.

edit:  ha, no. i *won't* be posting our dinner because, goddamn, we are still sick. guess those scotch eggs are just gonna' have to hang out in the fridge for another day or so.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

odds and ends before a proper post

i did a bunch of prep work yesterday for an upcoming post. 

and while that's all well and good, i'm more excited about this new pan.

we'd been trying to hold off on getting new, desperately needed kitchen kit until after we moved but, wow, our old pans were dead. i'm not complaining though! i've never had a stainless pan of my own before! it's so shiny and light!

still, priorities. 

season 2 of "sleepy hollow" premieres MONDAY!

Monday, September 15, 2014

i dunno, some things

i'm sick. again. who is surprised by this? yeah, exactly no one. and, of course, this cold arrived right when i've got four projects gearing up. (you will probably see three of them.)

these leeks will be involved in one of the projects. THEY ARE HUGE

also involved will be this mace which i will fucking use on the next person who gives me another cold.

no time for books, movies, shows today. sorry. this week i'm busy watching the scottish referendum and the alibaba ipo. i'll probably resurface around thursday. see you then!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

annual media blackout

saw my first terrorversary article of the year today. you know what that means. uh huh, media blackout until this thing blows over. 

if you need to get in touch and know me irl, text me. otherwise, i'll be with clouseau, hanging out, slightly out of focus

reading a stack of books, drinking navy strength gin and bemoaning the fact that there's no pret in vancouver. see you next week!

Monday, September 08, 2014

truth in advertising and bleggs

last week was surprisingly relaxing. it made a welcome change from the pressure cooker of anxiety and stress that has been the norm this year. i was able to laugh at things again. 

in fact, i couldn't stop laughing at this new, perky and...stupid...way of looking grapes.

grape juice you can eat?! you don't say!

plus the spectacular failure of an egg recipe that i found online was oddly cheering. i won't link you since it was such a horrible result but, yeah, i started with these

boiled them in this with some other stuff added

and ended up with this.

they looked right but leff couldn't even swallow the tiniest bite. that is saying something as leff is quite adventurous when it comes to food. 

he is going to need his iron stomach in the coming month as i have a LOT of weird things i'm making. (results should be posted at the beginning of october. any cock ups i'll post as they happen in the spirit of honesty and transparency. i fuck up just as much as everyone else!)

right, back to waiting. one thing that i won't be able to ever talk about in public is being decided today and, while it doesn't involve me directly, it has been quite nerve-wracking. any well wishes appreciated!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

40 things for leff and a couple of books i liked

leff's got a big bday coming up next month. since it only happens once in a lifetime (fuck forbid if landmark bdays pulled a groundhog day), i'm giving him 40 small presents. so far i have exploded cake in an orange (looks disgusting but it tasted appropriately boozy)

and have given him a large print retirement travel book. ha. (it's not entirely in jest. if [redated] fucking hurries up and [redacts] then it could, potentially, be very useful.)

speaking of books, quit reading this RIGHT NOW and get a copy of tana french's the secret place  (excerpt at link). i loveloveLOVE tana french and this is, hands down, her best work to date. she is amazing at transcending the mystery genre, turning it into something wonderfully literary. just, promise you'll pick up a copy? i don't want to say any more as i don't want to ruin any bit of it for anyone.

while you're at it, add all the light we cannot see to your cart/library list. super lyrical, super readable, often heartbreaking. you know, the good stuff. 

no movies this week. i have a copy of "only lovers left alive" to watch but i'm not feeling it yet. probably 'cause i've got another project in the works in addition to the leff presents. deadlines. they're what keep me going. *shrug*